This reissued work, originally published in 1985, is a uniquely broad and original survey of theories and beliefs about the growth, behaviour, performance and reform of the governments of modern Western democracies. After analysing the external pressures which have shaped modern governments, the author examines four different schools of political thought which seek to explain the behaviour and performance of governments, and which offer different remedies for the pluralism, corporatism and bureaucracy. To examine and test these general theories, the author looks closely at how governments actually work. The book is illustrated with examples drawn from various Western societies. The final chapters present the author's own conclusion about the future role of government, the limits of market philosophy, the future of politics, and the principles and problems of institutional reform.